Life in Isla Vista can be an interesting and happy existence. It can also be costly and even traumatic. If you choose "interesting and happy," as your I.V. lifestyle, much of your success will depend on your ability to live by certain common sense approaches to personal safety and the safety of your property.
Over the years, Isla Vista Foot Patrol has learned that residents who don't follow the practices listed below inevitably become victims. We strongly urge you to read and remember them.
SAFETY AT HOME
- Keep your door locked day and night, whether you are home or not.
- Check to see who's there before you open it
- Install a strong lock - a deadbolt - and a peephole.
- Have good lighting around entrances. Many places in Isla Vista have inadequate street lighting.
- Develop an escape plan for use in case of an intruder or fire.
- Make sure curtains or window shades are drawn at night.
- Leave spare keys with a friend, not under the mat or any other obvious place.
- Know your neighbors and know which ones you can trust in an emergency.
- When you leave make sure you've left doors and ground floor windows closed and locked.
ON THE STREET
- Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Cross the street or change direction if you think you are being followed.
- At night, remember that one entire side of Isla Vista is bounded by 90 ft. cliffs, and while it may sound like a superfluous warning, there are no lights at night. Necks are broken and lives are lost here far too frequently.
- Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
- Carry your car or house keys in your hand to avoid fumbling for them in a bag or pack.
- Travel with a friend; there's safety in numbers.
- Don't hesitate to get attention in whatever way you can if you're in trouble. Don't be afraid to make a scene.
IN YOUR CAR
- Lock your doors when driving and after parking.
- Park in well-lighted areas.
- Check the back seat and floor before you get into your car.
- Don't park next to vans.
- If you're followed by another car, drive to a police or fire station, hospital emergency entrance, or gas station. Don't go home or to a friend's home.
ON THE TOWN, AT A PARTY, ON A DATE
- Be clear about what you want and don't want. Women, say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no.
- Men, take no as no - the first time.
- Trust your intuition in uncomfortable situations. Leave, or tell the person making you uncomfortable to leave.
- Don't be afraid to make a scene if you're in trouble.
- Party with friends. Remember, there's safety in numbers.
- Don't have an open party. You are inviting violence if you do.
- If you host a party, secure your possessions in a locked room. People who wander into a party will often wander out with your valuables.
- Call Foot Patrol if you need help getting party crashers to leave.
- If you drink, stay sober enough to take care of yourself. Decide your limits in advance.
- Consider turning down open drinks from anybody.
- Use the buddy system. Stay sober enough to take care of each other. Don't leave a friend stranded.
- Having sex with a person too drunk to consent is against the law.
WITH A PARTNER
Some signs of an abusive relationship:
- Are you frightened of your boy/girlfriend's temper?
- Are you afraid to disagree with him/her?
- Have you been frightened by his/her violence toward others?
- Have you been afraid to say no to sex?
- Have you repeatedly, and wrongly, been accused of flirting or having sex with others?
There's no future with a person who:
- won't stop when you ask them to.
- won't use a condom to protect both of you.
- won't talk over problems or differences.
- resorts to name-calling, guilt-tripping or violence.
The ideas listed above are not rules. They're common sense. They will work for you anywhere, and they will certainly work for you in Isla Vista.
Don't be afraid or hesitant about calling local law enforcement authorities if you need help or if something dangerous is happening near you. That's what we're here for.